“You want to be in a space where you enter an imaginary world and for this illusion to be successful you need to be insulated from the surrounding real world. I remember watching Lord of the Rings and in the quiet moments all I could hear was a distracting hum from the air-conditioning system.”
How to enhance the sound experience
Acoustic challenges include external sources, such as noise from the movie next door, road noise outside or noisy customers in the lobby. Then there are interior sources such as loud air-conditioning, projectors or uninsulated walls next to beeping elevators, says Maro.
Whether the cinema is housed in a complex, shopping mall or historic building, the focus should always be on maximising the performance of the sound system to ensure all members of the audience enjoy their acoustic experience equally wherever they sit.
“It is no good if some members of the audience are deafened and others struggle to catch dialogue. That is why every surface requires attention to acoustic detail from the theatre’s airlock double doors, walls and ceilings to the canopies, carpets and seat upholstery,” says Maro.
Avoid noise from the popcorn stand